- NYCFC names Sol Cacao, a Local Bronx Chocolate Company, the winner of the NYCFC & Mastercard City Assist Contest
- Mastercard surprises winner by placing Sol Cacao’s logo on the sleeve of NYCFC’s uniform, creating additional brand exposure and marketing opportunity to reach millions of fans throughout NYCFC’s 2021 season
- This marks the first time a small business will have prime advertising space on a Major League Soccer jersey in the U.S.
In celebration of National Small Business Month, NYCFC today announced the winner of the NYCFC & Mastercard City Assist Contest – a highly competitive promotion drawing submissions from 50+ small businesses across NYC to become the first-ever “Official Small Business of New York City FC” which includes a full partner package. The winning small business will receive in-stadium and digital placements that provide high-valued exposure during NYCFC home games, Field Level LED Ribbon Boards elevating the brand’s advertising value to fans in-stadium as well as media platforms, high-production video content and marketing consultation, digital packaging on Club channels, among other assets. Together, the NYCFC partnership will allow this local small business to reach millions of fans through these new marketing assets.
NYCFC and Mastercard are proud to announce the winner, Sol Cacao, a small Bronx craft chocolate company who was surprised to learn that in addition to the original package that was part of the competition Mastercard added an additional marquee asset to the partnership package placing the small business’s logo on NYCFC’s First Team jersey sleeve for the 2021 season. This makes NYCFC the first franchise across Major League Soccer (MLS) to proudly feature a local small business on the team’s jersey sleeve.
To help Sol Cacao further grow and digitally enhance their business, Mastercard also surprised them with a Digital Doors Tool Kit inclusive of Mastercard’s Digital Diagnostic, one-on-one mentorship, as well as offers and resources from Jobble, Mastercard Trust Center, Microsoft Advertising, SimplyPayMe, and Zoho. Additionally, the toolkit includes new, Mastercard cybersecurity tools developed to help small businesses defend themselves against cyber threats – Mastercard ID Theft ProtectionTM and My Cyber Risk powered by RiskRecon.
Sol Cacao, a Bronx-based chocolate brand, dazzled NYCFC and Mastercard with their innovative business plan, perseverance and ability to pivot as COVID swept across New York City and their home in the Bronx, an area that was hit especially hard by the pandemic. The co-owners of Sol Cacao, brothers Daniel, Dominic, and Nicholas, have a family legacy of chocolate making. Their grandmother was a chocolatier in Trinidad & Tobago. Now, they are using their heritage to bring the highest quality and unique craftsmanship to the Bronx and are dedicated to uplifting the local Bronx community through neighborhood outreach and job creation.
“The Bronx is home to hip-hop, Major League Baseball and Soccer, and we aim to add chocolate to the list of contributions the Bronx gives to New York City and the world and being named the first-ever Official Small Business Partner of New York City FC is an opportunity to inspire the future generation of chocolate makers,” said Sol Cacao Co-Founder Daniel Maloney. “We created Sol Cacao to be a place where anyone eager to learn can be inspired, and only through partnerships like this can we create a truly New York experience that reflects the grit, perseverance, and teamwork that is the fabric of this great city.”
“We are thrilled to gift our sleeve asset to Sol Cacao, and with our Mastercard teammates, we took an innovative approach to this partner asset and are activating a cause-marketing campaign to do our part in supporting a very deserving local company that shares our Bronx home.” said New York City FC COO & Chief Commercial Officer Matt Goodman. “We are proud to team up with our terrific partners at Mastercard to provide one extremely worthy Bronx-based small business a needed lift as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact New York City. Small businesses are the heart of New York City; we are grateful to have a partner in Mastercard that shares our values of elevating and providing support to the small businesses and communities across the five boroughs that we are so proud to represent.”
“As our local main streets continue to face unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic, we remain committed to helping provide the tools and resources needed to not only survive but thrive,” said Cheryl Guerin, EVP Marketing and Communications in North America at Mastercard. “Together with NYCFC, we are honored to provide Sol Cocao as the Official Small Business of New York City FC partnership assets to build their brand and Mastercard’s digital tools to help enhance their business operations.”
“The Bronx Chamber of Commerce couldn’t be happier for Sol Cacao and the family of talented entrepreneurs behind this wonderful small business to win this competitive competition,” said Lisa Sorin, President of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. “For NYCFC and Mastercard to launch this small businesses partnership program in our city after the devastating impact of the pandemic is another example of NYCFC’s off the field leadership and commitment to supporting its community. We’re delighted for Sol Cacao to receive this kind of recognition and hope that soccer fans across the city and country will be exposed to their delicious chocolate, made right here in the Bronx.”